The Dewalt DWE7491is the clear choice for the full-time woodworking professional. It provides the widest rip capacity by far, it’s the fastest worker, and it has the best dust collection. The fence is a thing of beauty, and the secondary inner fence is a smart feature for smaller cuts. We think it’s worthy of any full-time woodworker, or DIYer with plenty of shop space and spending money.
The power transfer system is neatly done. The model features a serpentine belt which is quiet and smooth during operation. Therefore, the level of noise is satisfactory. Precision is something that makes this model worth checking out. Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you’ll definitely appreciate the accuracy of this model. On the other hand, with great things come great responsibilities. Don’t forget to wear safety equipment!
Some buyers weren’t impressed with the blade adjustments. The knobs and trunnions are similar to those on the DW745, but some reviewers said their units felt a bit clunky on the way down. Again, due to the quality control issues on these models, it’s a good idea to do a very thorough inspection and test of your unit before it’s too late to return it.
Framing work is full of rougher cuts that rarely makes use of more than one blade at a time. But occasionally you might need dados for an onsite custom build in. If that sounds like you, be sure to find out the saw’s dado stack capacity. It requires a longer arbor and you won’t be able to use your normal throat plate for it. Some manufacturers offer a dado throat plate if they have the capacity for it.
Using the guards the saw came with is crucial for the safety of your hands. If you are working with smaller pieces, make or buy a sled with a work clamp so that you can maintain a safe distance from the blade. The clamped sled can be as simple as a piece of plywood with a track on the bottom that’s responsible for riding in the groove. It’s quite simple to construct, saves time, and most importantly – fingers.
As we already said, people tend to remove the safety elements to speed up their projects. Needless to say, it’s a huge mistake. Those things are there for a reason, and they should remain installed at all times. As soon as you mingle with the parts, you’ll jeopardize the integrity and your own safety. Even the best table saw cannot protect you enough if you mess with the parts on your own.
All these saws have fences that extend to at least 24 in. to allow you to rip a 4 x 8-ft. sheet of plywood in half. And they all have a slightly different way of accomplishing this. DeWalt has the most straightforward method. You just push the fence out on its rails and flip over the board support. On the Rockwell saw, you flip out a hinged fence rail. The only drawback to this fence is that it must remain in the extended position for any cut, so it takes up quite a bit of room. The remaining saws require you to release one or two levers and pull out the fence extension.
It has a machined aluminum table which is extremely precise. We like the Dewalt’s cast metal table for the price, but the company don’t list the material, and we suspect it’s not nearly as rugged as aluminum. The Bosch’s table is much better. It’s rugged, sturdy, and more consistently even than the Dewalt. The table makes this one a smarter choice for fine woodworkers or pros who need superior alignment.
As for extensions, I have added the TS1002 and TS1003 outfeeds (rear and left side respectively) – They do a great job supporting the workpieces without making the saw the least bit tippy. For my use, I don’t get much use from the left side support, but the rear outfeed is great. Much nicer than setting up an outfeed stand and trying to dial it in.
The Delta Unisaw is a heavyweight in woodworking circles. It’s been on the market for years, and it’s a stalwart through and through. It has a super-powerful 5 HP motor which can blast through the toughest hardwoods and composite materials quickly. It also features one of the most precise bevel adjustments on the market, down to 1/4 degrees! It has a solid, single-cast trunnion which provides excellent vibration dampening, and an extra-heavy case iron base. In short, this is a hulking beast of a machine, and it’s easy to see why it’s been a shop favorite for years.
The frame is also improved. Instead of the basic roll-cage on the Dewalt, this one neatens things up with an integrated sub-base. It’s a rugged rubber-like pad which serves as a bumper between the main frame and your truck bed or worksite table. Both the table and the sub base are joined to the main frame, and they provide strength at both ends of the design. As with the Dewalt, you can store your tools and accessories inside, an on hooks outside the Bosch.
We spent over 30 hours researching and testing 10 different brands of table saws and found that maximum speed, cord length, and cut depth were most important. The DEWALT DW7480 table saw scored high marks in every category and is our top pick. This 48 pound table saw is perfect for using at home or taking with you to the job site. It has a powerful 15 amp motor and 24” rip capacity that makes it a favorite with everyone. The 2 ½” dust collection port allowed us to connect the saw to a shop vac and reduce the amount of dust that was in the garage.
One thing manufactures noticed over the years was that when people used the splitters in normal straight cuts it worked well but it’s biggest downfall came when contractors wanted to do cross cuts. What would happen is that people would remove the splitters to make the cross cuts but then forget to fixed them back in place. One brilliant table saw safety feature is the riving knife. The Riving knife is attached directly to the blade mechanism, this allows it to always be attached not matter where or what angle the blade is.
Even though the trunnion mechanism from Powermatic has been known to be the best there is, further refinements have been made to it in order to make it even better. The conically shaped worm gear drive with better surface area, the high end bearings, but also the cast iron, box style construction combine with the solid and smooth feel of the height and tilt adjustments. Thanks to the adjustable backlash, it’s very easy for users to adjust the mechanism back to the factory fresh feel and clearances.
Editor and "serious woodworker" Chris Marshall tests five "premium" portable table saws. After equipping each saw with a new Freud thin-kerf blade, he uses them to rip lengths of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and yellow pine, as well as making long dado cuts in MDF. Marshall considers the saws' stability, cutting accuracy, efficiency, dust collection, and general ease of use to choose his top picks. Unfortunately, two of his three favorites are discontinued.
Because we’re passionate woodworkers who care deeply about the quality of the tools we work with, we have a tendency to recommend that even the most budget-conscious buyer spend a little more to get something high-quality. However, we know that some DIYers might have the ambition to take their woodworking to the next level with a table saw, but might not necessarily have the funds.
A gauge will allow you to make very detailed cross and angled cuts. This is a bit of kit that you need to research in great depth as it can make or break the accuracy of your cuts and angles. With a good gauge, you can check blade height, blade angles, miter angles and much more. For further reading checkout Wikipedia’s table saw page and for in-depth air compressor reviews.
Delta has also improved the tabletop geometry on this model which means that you’re going to get more surface area stabilization. The base is also made of durable cast iron and since it offers easy access to the off/on switch, using the Delta UNISAW is a breeze. Other user friendly features include the convenient dust extraction system, large blade opening for easily changing the blade and fine-tuning the riving knife, smart storage for simple organization and fast access.
I appreciate the helpful comparison of the best table saws. I’m fairly new to woodworking, and until recently I was using an old table saw that used to belong to my dad. Long story short, it’s no longer usable, and so I’m looking for a good table saw to buy that’s beginner-friendly. I have my eye on the DEWALT DW745 – evidently it’s really popular and does a great job. I’ve taken a look at some other sites for more ideas. Your guide here is great. What is your opinion on the DW745?
We had a number of these saws – and I bought one for my own use (travelling to my kids houses and for garage use) since my old Unisaw with sliding table isn’t exactly portable. My take on the blade – is that the old 40T one (Bosch CBT1040A) was not worth anything much – so the change to a 24T blade can’t hurt (zero time anything is still zero). They generally bundle saws with cheap blades to keep the overall price down – but when I was buying in many multiples – I would have been happy for $10 off each if I had a “no-blade” option.
Having only owned saws with cast iron tops this is a new experience for me. First let me note that the right side extension is not aluminum like the rest of the top. It is steel, painted to match. The entire top appears to be powder coated with a textured grey coating. No telling how durable it will be but it does allow wood to slide easily over it. Since the top is aluminum, it lets you know that by transferring all the motor noise and vibration throughout the saw. Not a big deal really but definitely different if you are used to the cast iron absorbing much of this on bigger saws.
One of the biggest perks of a cabinet table saw, aside from the rugged construction and wide worktop, is the sheer power of the tool. You should expect a cabinet table saw to cut absolutely any stock within its depth capacity smoothly and easily. Look for motors with at least 3 HP, and sophisticated belt drive systems which translate that grunt into 4000+ RPM blade speeds. Don’t accept lesser power ratings on a cabinet model: these are the gold standard of table saws for a reason!
Contractor saws weigh quite a bit more than portable saws, averaging between 150 and 350 pounds, but are still somewhat portable. They have a heavier, cast-iron table top, and a motor that is usually more powerful than a jobsite saw. Even so, they’re within prices affordable for more committed hobbyists. Contractor saws can range between $800 and $2,000. They’re good for basic cutting tasks, as well as making home furniture and cabinetry work.
Finally, make sure you know your long-term options when it comes to maintenance, repairs, or replacements. Check the warranty coverage on your portable unit. Read the fine print, checking whether you’ll be paying for repairs under warranty, or whether the company will be footing the bill. Some manufacturers cover repairs, but not return shipping. Others force you to bring your unit to an authorized dealer, which can be difficult in some parts of the country.
Besides that, materials are expensive, and when you ruin even a couple of pricey work pieces with a saw that doesn’t provide accurate cut you will end up paying far more for that cheap saw than you anticipated. Having a good saw that you can depend on for accuracy and efficiency is a solid business move for any contractor. Both the DW745 and the Bosch 4100 have a true riving knife, anti-kickback pawls, and a blade guard to prevent kickback and possible injury.
Bosch GTS1031 10 in. portable jobsite table saw is powered by a 15 Amp motor that allows this table saw to rip through any lumber or hardwood quickly and easily. Bosch’s Smart Guard System provides added control while cutting, SquareLock Rip fence ensure consistent and accurate cuts, and an all steel base provides added durability. Oh yeah, and we forgot to mention the price. This is the most affordable table saw on our list!
The saw itself is remarkably compact, measuring just 22.5″ square and a little over a foot in height (13″ to be more precise). With a steel “roll cage” that encloses the 4 HP 15-amp motor and a rubber handle that is positioned in the center of the right side of the saw, this is a tool that you’ll find very easy to toss into the back of a pickup or work van and take to any jobsite. When you carry it deck-inward, the weight of the saw presses in slightly against your leg – which actually steadies the saw somewhat, making it more manageable, though at 52-pounds let’s not go so far as to call this saw a breeze to carry. The Bosch GTS1031 included cord wrap, and the simple design of the frame also makes it easy to store up against a wall inside your shop when not in use. This isn’t a tool that really gets in the way much – it’s out of sight until it’s needed.
How big a table saw is, is determined by the largest blade the saw will hold. 8” blades are the smallest that should be used for any home workshop. You can get blades in 9”, 10”, and 12” sizes as well. Most workshops will not really need the 12” blade as this has a very deep cut capability, but for construction firms and larger, commercial shops, the 12” comes in handy.
Porter-Cable comes in as the most expensive of the value group, but also with the best overall performance in it. Of the three saws in this class, it had the best cutting power and also came in the top spot overall for height and bevel adjustment thanks to independent wheels. This may seem like a small consideration, but when you actually need to cut accurately beveled pieces, the adjustment wheel is a huge benefit over sliding the front height adjustment around.